Patisserie Valerie to fold without fresh capital

Even if rescuer for the cake chain emerges, a new owner could shed onerous liabilities

Patisserie Valerie said it is “assessing all options”.  Photograph: Reuters

Patisserie Valerie said it is “assessing all options”. Photograph: Reuters

 

Patisserie Valerie could collapse into administration as soon as Friday morning as time runs out to find a rescuer for the stricken cake chain.

The group’s parent firm Patisserie Holdings issued a stock market update on Thursday saying that it will cease trading without an “immediate” cash injection after discovering a major black hole in its finances. It is understood that if chairman Luke Johnson, the group’s majority shareholder, or another rescuer does not step forward with emergency funds overnight, the firm will be forced to appoint administrators.

Mr Johnson, a serial entrepreneur, is the largest shareholder in Patisserie Holdings with a 37 per cent stake. PwC, which is working with the firm on its financial position, is the most likely to carry out the insolvency, but several other corporate undertakers are also thought to be waiting in the wings.

Even if a buyer for the group does emerge, any purchase would likely be conducted via a pre-pack administration process, where a new owner is able to shed onerous liabilities. Emergency fundraising talks overseen by advisers to Patisserie Holdings were ongoing on Thursday evening. Other options on the table include a loan or a rights issue. – PA